Harvard Law School professor Laurence Tribe warned Monday that Americans could lose their "souls and our constitutional democracy" if Democratic lawmakers do not begin impeachment proceedings against President TrumpDonald TrumpOvernight Defense & National Security — The Pentagon's deadly mistake Overnight Energy & Environment — Presented by Climate Power — Interior returns BLM HQ to Washington France pulls ambassadors to US, Australia in protest of submarine deal MORE.
"If this is not impeachable behavior. If this is not abuse of power amounting to high crimes and misdemeanors, then for all time, we will have established the precedent that the president can get away with anything," Tribe said on MSNBC's "Hardball."
Tribe later pushed back against the idea that moving toward impeachment could result in the Democrats losing the 2020 presidential election.
"A lot of my friends say, you can’t do that," Tribe said. "It may be the right thing to do, but, 'hey we might lose the presidency next time.' But we might lose our souls and our constitutional democracy if we do nothing. And doing nothing is not an option.”
A growing list of Democratic lawmakers have called for Congress to impeach Trump in wake of the release of special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) MuellerSenate Democrats urge Garland not to fight court order to release Trump obstruction memo Why a special counsel is guaranteed if Biden chooses Yates, Cuomo or Jones as AG Barr taps attorney investigating Russia probe origins as special counsel MORE's report, which said that Mueller's investigation into Russian interference did not uncover evidence to conclude that a conspiracy took place between the Trump campaign and Moscow.
But it noted that the special counsel was unable to “conclusively determine” that no criminal conduct occurred in regard to obstruction of justice. The report also included several instances of possible obstruction of justice that Mueller's team investigated.
Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiOn The Money — Presented by Wells Fargo — Pelosi plows full speed ahead on jam-packed agenda Jan. 6 committee taps former Bush administration official as top lawyer Ocasio-Cortez, Bush push to add expanded unemployment in .5T spending plan MORE (D-Calif.) has vowed to investigate the Trump administration further before coming to a decision on impeachment.